The man who was the dreaded State Security Minister from 1980 and 1988, responsible banning thousands citizens including footballer Bruce Grobbelaar from their country of birth, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has turned to announce to the former that he can return home.
The riveting story is told in the goal keeper’s narration during a discussion with colleague Alois Bunjira.
Said Grobbelaar, “In 2007 I was working in South Africa, coaching while also travelling throughout Africa on a malaria awareness programme. One day after landing in Cape Town from Zambia, I got a call from the late former President (Robert Mugabe) saying he wanted me to help the Warriors. I told him that I could do that as long as I was paid in foreign currency. The former President said they had a problem as they didn’t have any foreign currency and I told him I knew there was no foreign currency because they had stolen the money and hid it somewhere. He apparently did not like that and he told me never again to set foot on Zimbabwean soil,” said Grobbelaar.
He added saying he remained a persona non grata for 10 years until Emmerson Mnangagwa took office.
“I was now working in Canada together with President ED’s nephews and one day he phoned asking me why I wasn’t coming back to the country, and I told him the whole story. I told him that I was barred from coming to Zimbabwe by former President Mugabe. (President) ED said he was now the President and I was free to come back to Zimbabwe at any time. This is how I came back in 2017,” said Grobbelaar.
“I was part of the Zimbabwe national squad from 1981 to 1985, having previously worn the Rhodesia jersey. In 1985 my passport was taken away from me by the Zimbabwean authorities only to be returned in 1992. (Former Registrar General Tobaiwa) Mudede was in Britain and was at the Zimbabwe House (in London) issuing passports to Zimbabweans, but he didn’t want to give me a passport until he got orders from (the late former President) Mugabe to issue me with a passport so that I could play for the Dream Team against South Africa,” said Grobbelaar.